If you want to simplify your life, there is only one thing you need to do. When people think of simplifying they generally think of decluttering, painting their interior walls white, and swapping out their tv for books. All those things are awesome but simplifying is so much more than organizing and making a trip to the donation center.
What does this look like?
If we could strip down our homes, our closets, cars, fancy hair colors, elaborate foods, and our swag what would you see? How would you feel? To answer those questions kind of depends on where you are in life. But no matter where you sit on this stripping down, we all have a common ground. We all have the same amount of time, we all need to have clean water to survive, we all have bodies to take care of, we all have drive and purpose unique to our own, we all have family (whether by blood or by friendship) and we all have a heart.
So when people come to me and say “I want to simplify my life”, I get excited for them and understand them. They are ready for change. For I know their main target, whether said or kept silent, is to find peace and joy in this chaotic world.
Simplifying does get them there, yet the more we uncover the rubble of our homes, lifestyle, and everyday living, the more we will see what’s happening around us and in us. It is then where we conquer and achieve the peace and joy we were set out to claim.
Do you want to simplify your life?
Okay, then, you want to simplify your life. Then, love. It’s love that will simplify your life. Love comes first. Love for God, love for your family, love for the things you enjoy, and love for the things you are grateful for.
That’s right, if you can just prioritize love, then everything else will take care of itself. It is what our Creator wants us to do, to love Him, and to love our neighbor…which is everybody in case you didn’t know. Love will get you places and put you on the path He has created just for you.
What do I mean by love?
I’m not talking about sexual love. Nor am I addressing the love of steak or red velvet cake. The love I’m talking about is genuine. Love is very complicated yet simple in form. I address the simple because it really is the little things that make such a big difference!
What is the simple form of love?
The simple form of love is to treat others the way you would like to be treated. This is so easy, yet so difficult because we get in our own way. When we can put ourselves to the side…happily…we will experience the peace and joy we’re after.
How do we learn to love in this way?
We look to Jesus. He came to earth to give us an example of how to love. Not only that, he then took on a brutal beating, got nailed to a cross by his hands and feet, and suffered a slow death of his earthly body…for you. He went through all of this to forgive you of your sins so that you can talk with God directly, and go to heaven.
Not long ago I did a little experiment and practiced what I just preached. It has been an amazing venture. And I have learned a great deal about how to simplify my life. I simply loved my neighbor. During this time I also discovered more about myself, an added bonus.
How do you love your neighbor to simplify your life?
You listen. Listen for keywords, for joys, for a cry for help. What are they going through, what are their needs, and how can you bless them, or put a smile on their face? If you were in their shoes, what would you want? Listen to your own heart, what stirs it, did something strike it, is there something you know you should do?
With my experiment, I did just that. I put myself in others’ shoes and it really changed how I talked to people and what I did with my time. And you know what happened? It took the focus off my own problems and I experienced joy and peace. Whoa!
Here are some ideas to love on your neighbor:
- Mow their yard
- Shovel their driveway and/or sidewalk
- Rake their leaves
- Make them a special treat
- Make them dinner or buy them takeout
- Drop over some flowers for no reason
- Share your garden goodies
- Send them a card
- Invite them to go on a walk
- Think of them while you’re shopping, pick up a surprise for them.
- Wave to them
- Smile and say hello
- Pray with them, pray for them
- Keep your eyes and ears open for how to lend them a hand
- Listen to them when they need to vent. Then listen to them again. Remember they’re not looking for you to solve their issue, they just need someone to listen to them. So instead of giving them your free advice, ask them questions and be curious in what they are trying to express to you. Listening is a huge way to love.
To simplify your life life is not necessarily about stuff being organized neatly or having a blank calendar. Simplifying life is about making a shift of priorities and focusing on what your Creator would like you to focus on…love. He’ll take care of the rest. Here’s a great post about How to Have a Happy Family: 3 Revolutionary Steps.
By CT Copyright © 2021 Simplify Firefly. All Rights Reserved.